Estonian push to produce biodegradable packaging from cellulose

Pressure is building to find greener alternatives to plastic food packaging. While millions of tonnes of almost indestructible plastic enter the world’s oceans each year, malleable packing films are burned or sent to landfill after use, causing further pollution.

In an ideal world, the oil-based polymers used to pack food and drink would be swapped out for bio-based polymers that will quickly degrade without causing any harm to the natural environment. Andres Krumme, a professor in the Department of Materials and Environmental Technology, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) in Estonia, is trying to make that happen. “All of mankind is looking for a substitute for oil-based polymers,” he says. “Today, we are packing everything, including food, in polymers that can have a useful lifetime of 10 to 60 years.”

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Source: Science|Business